home value

Market Watch - August 2019

TORONTO, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019. This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018. On a month- over-month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent.

GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses. This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings. This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year. Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments. The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses.

Can I Afford a Condo in Toronto?

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It is no secret that condo prices in Toronto are high, but how high are they? 

During the first quarter of the year, condo prices have increased by 3.6%. With this increase, the average condo price in Toronto is now $600,000. These high and crazy prices have made it difficult for many homebuyers to afford and even consider condo living in this city. 

Are Condo Prices Expected to Keep Rising?  

While condo prices certainly rose during the first quarter, this was actually the slowest increase since 2015. The price per square foot for a condo also saw its lowest increase since 2014, which was only 3.3% or $683. This may mean the market is slowly cooling off but if you have any plans to purchase a condo in the future, you will still want to prepare accordingly. The average price for a 3-bedroom condo in the city is $800,000 while a studio condo will still cost you half a million dollars. 

Additionally, condos may become more affordable in the future due to their heavy supply. According to Urbanation, during the first quarter of 2019, there were 71,378 condo units under construction.

How to Improve Your Chances of Purchasing a Condo in Toronto

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Toronto, you will need to prepare. The high prices will make it harder to qualify and become approved for a mortgage. Here are just a few things to consider before you seriously begin the house hunt. 

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score tells lenders about your financial history and habits. If you have a high score, lenders are more likely to let you borrow large sums of money and you will qualify for lower interest rates. If your credit score is low, it is in your best interest to work on improving it before the pre-approval process.  

Pay Off Your Debt

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Your debt not only plays a role in your credit score but also in whether a lender will approve your loan. Ideally, all of your debts should not exceed 40% of your gross income. These debts include your housing, automobile, consumer debts, etc. If you have a substantial amount of debt, work on lowering it before you jump into the real estate market. 

Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in purchasing a condo or another housing option in the Toronto area, you want to work with a qualified real estate agent. This professional knows the ins and outs of the market and can help you find a home that you will love and can afford. Make sure to discuss your budget with your agent and some of the features you want and desire in your next house.  

While there are signs of the condo market slowing down, prices are still significantly high. Be prepared for purchasing a home by improving your credit score, paying off debt, and working with a qualified agent who can help you find the right home at the right price. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

4 Budget-Friendly Ways You Can Increase Your Home’s Value

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If you are selling your Toronto home, you want to receive the best deal possible. You want it to make an instant impression and stand out in the real estate market. However, the real estate market in Toronto is not as hot as it was years ago so you want to find ways to increase your home’s value without hurting your budget. Luckily, this is easy to do. Let’s talk about several ways you can increase your home’s value without hurting your bank account.

1. Finish Your Basement

If you have an unfinished basement, hiring a contractor to complete this area of your home should be at the top of your list. This will not only improve your home’s value but it is more appealing to potential buyers. It gives them more space, rooms, a bathroom, etc. You don’t have to opt for luxury upgrades either to see the benefits of finishing this space. You can easily work with contractors to finish this project within a realistic budget. 

2. Create an Outdoor Living Space

Many homeowners are looking for usable outdoor space. They want a place where they can gather with friends and family, relax, and more. Creating this outdoor space is not only appealing for potential buyers but it also improves the curb appeal of your home as well. You can easily create this space by completing basic landscaping tasks such as mowing the lawn, planting fresh flowers, trimming trees, etc. If you need to implement some shade, you don’t need to build an expensive pergola or covered patio. You can use large umbrellas or shade sails to add the protection and colour to your yard as well.

3. Update Your Kitchen

A complete kitchen remodel can cost you thousands of dollars. In fact, a full renovation can cost you more than $20,000 and more than $30,000 if you choose luxury materials and appliances. Luckily, there are several things you can do in this room that will increase your home’s value and will cut down the costs. A few ideas include: 

  • Refinish and painting the cabinets

  • A fresh coat of paint on the walls

  • Install new hardware on cabinets

  • Replace old light fixtures

4. Focus on Home Security

Buyers are not only looking for a house that is convenient and beautiful, but secure as well. Improving the security of your home can be extremely simple. For example, you may update and improve the exterior lighting throughout your home. This could be as simple as replacing old light fixtures or installing a few additional motion sensors. You may also install new locks throughout your home. If you want to take your security a step farther, consider smart locks and camera doorbells as well. These are fairly inexpensive smart home devices that are perks for many buyers, particularly younger buyers. 

You don’t have to drain your savings to update your home and increase its value. By completing a few of the above projects, you and potential buyers will notice the difference. 

Get in touch to learn more.